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Yet ANOTHER test for 11 y.o. 'Times tables 'to be tested by age 11'

Discussion in 'Education news' started by chelsea2, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    Personally I always find it quite sad when fellow teachers criticise each other and what they do in primary/secondary. I'm sure secondary colleagues find it frustrating when children come up to them without a grasp of basics just as primary colleagues find it frustrating when children visit them in year 7 to report that they are doing easier work than they were in year 6 and that they are bored. The two issues in my opinion are that the curriculum is so packed now with things which were previously in the secondary curriculum that children do not have time to really consolidate the basics they need as they need to move on to the next thing. The second issue is that parental support is at an all time low. The number of children entering school who then need to be taught to use the toilet, hold a knife and fork, interact with other children etc is on the increase. I hope we get to a point where we start to actually place responsibility for a child's education and development on the parents and not solely on the shoulders of teachers.
     
  2. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Well said! I think that it's getting to the stage where society needs to consider taking punitive action against bad parenting. If you have children then you have a responsibility to bring them up to the very best of your ability, and that means making sacrifices. My parents, who often struggled financially, certainly made many sacrifices: if they hadn't I wouldn't have the comfortable life I now enjoy.
     
  3. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Well said GrammarB! I'm secondary and the pressures are enormous, but i would not be a primary school teacher for all the gold Christendom. Well done to all our primary colleagues who have to put up with imposed sh* t from never ending changing government policies and never ending scrutiny and teacher bashing not just from the public but from certain secondary teachers too! I've said it before but I'll say it again; knowing your times tables says little about you except that you are able to memorise a number of facts! It tells you nothing about your understanding or ability to apply your understanding. Pile of piffle!
     
    chelsea2 and guinnesspuss like this.
  4. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I also am glad I'm not a primary teacher. I have the utmost regard for people who choose this age range.

    It seems to me that knowing your tables is a useful skill. It may help further progress in mathematics. Where is the objective research on this? Having a test on this is just another performance indicator for a school. Do we need another?

    This is another easy media sound bite which primary teachers will suffer from. My commiserations....

    Teaching maths is not easy is it Blackadder?

     
    chelsea2 and guinnesspuss like this.
  5. christineacampion

    christineacampion New commenter

  6. christineacampion

    christineacampion New commenter

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/117521
     
  7. christineacampion

    christineacampion New commenter

  8. christineacampion

    christineacampion New commenter

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/117521
     
  9. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    download-2.jpg
    Ms Morgan will be judged by us all.

    Will she go down in history as Ms Times Tables?

    Has she done anything else except refuse to answer maths questions?

    Perhaps she should be known as Ms Do as I say?

    download-2.jpg
     
  10. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    Are you seriously suggesting that pupils should not be expected to know their times tables? You may say it is the testing you are objecting to but the simple fact is that pupils arriving at Y7 do not have a very good grasp of their times tables, the current situation is not working and something needs to be done. What do you propose instead?
     
    PaulDG likes this.
  11. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    Try explaining that to the pupil who thinks they don't understand multiplying fractions because they got a significant number of questions wrong when they actually understand the method but don't know their times tables. All understanding has to be based on foundations and knowledge of facts.
     
  12. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Of course not. I have never met a primary teacher who doesn't believe that pupils should know their tables. Neither have I ever met a primary teacher, from Y2 onwards, who doesn't devote a lot of time to teaching, reinforcing & practising tables. I recognise that, despite this, some children will start secondary school with a shaky grasp of them - probably the same children with a shaky grasp of spelling, reading, punctuation. You know, those children who struggle to retain information - the ones we used to describe as 'low ability'. Unless the normal distribution curve no longer applies to children, they will be forever with us,

    Unless you believe that primary children should do nothing in their 7 years at primary school except work on these areas (and for some children that's pretty much how it is, given so many children are taken out of other curriculum subjects to do yet more maths & English), then there will ALWAYS be children starting secondary school who are not secure in these areas. I suppose the latest jargon means they are not 'secondary-ready' (makes them sound like pre-prepared chickens heading for the oven!)

    What I AM objecting to is yet ANOTHER test for our beleaguered Y6 children and their teachers, for which they will have spend even more time revising & which will add to the stress of the KS2 tests. Unless you have taught in Y6, you have no conception of the gradgrindian existence many already go through during what used to be the best primary year in which to teach.

    So where will it stop? We already have: reading, spelling, punctuation & grammar (SPaG) tests. This year for the first time there is an arithmetic test - 36 questions in 30 minutes. It should warm the cockles of your heart - stuff like 1539 ÷ 27; 5/12 - 2/9; 2641 x 35 - all to be done by formal, traditional methods. There are also 2 other maths tests. Tables test next year. Writing is continually assessed throughout the year, as is science. Is there anything left to test?
     
  13. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    It's not just the weak pupils that have a poor grasp of times tables, many top set Y7 pupils also have a poor grasp - that's the top half of the top table! This needs to be done, the sooner the better and at an earlier age than Y6.
     
  14. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    You seem to have had unfortunate experiences.

    An experience of mine:
    Much of my teaching life was in a challenging school, with often over 30% on the SN register. My last class there was Y5. Each week we did a tables test, to try and improve personal scores & time.
    In September, out of a class of 23, only 10 were able to do a test on all their tables (up to 10 x 10). These are their scores on that first test (September), /100 - not great, despite work done on tables in previous years.
    79
    79
    89
    92
    95
    97
    98
    99
    100
    79

    By the end of the year, there were 20 of the 23 tested on all their tables.
    These are their scores on the last test (July). And of course, their times had improved enormously.
    92
    99
    100
    98
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    98
    80
    65
    84
    abs
    98
    84
    90
    67

    But do you know what? I would guess, come September, many of them would have slowed down and forgotten quite a lot, despite these regular weekly tests and huge improvements during the year. But I do hope my Y6 colleague didn't blame me and say I should have done more.
     
    Yoda- and lanokia like this.
  15. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Very interesting thank you for showing us this.

    Obviously you were not motivated by a government performance indicator.

    I don't have any problem with pupils learning their tables. I just don't think another school performance indicator is needed.

    What next a random spelling test?
     
  16. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Y6 pupils already have a random spelling test - have done ever since KS2 tests began.
     
    Yoda- likes this.
  17. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    i have no objection to a tables test, or a spelling test. but when added to the existing tests it becomes a problem. thin it all down to one single reading comprehension, one spelling, one tables and an arithmetic maths test. that is plenty of data to sort children into order and give the secondary teachers a sound basis to work with. The ability to apply these skills is better judged by teacher assessment anyhow. and secondary schools have seven years to get them ready for whatever is finally decided is needed at 18 years old. unless all the discussion about the GCSE being redundant is just so much hot air!
     
    guinnesspuss likes this.
  18. GeordieKC

    GeordieKC Occasional commenter

    @chelsea2 is showing the way this should be tackled, not one pass/fail test, but tracking students performance at tables over time. If the government wants to do this using a standard well designed computer adaptive testing tool then I cannot see any real objection. Although I fear we will see a monumentally expensive project resulting in a tool that is not fit for purpose.
     
    guinnesspuss likes this.
  19. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I stand corrected.

    I would ask if there's any other adhock test which I am unaware of, but I would not want to inspire Ms Morgan.

    star-wars-episode-vi-return-of-the-jedi-cover1.jpg
     

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